How to Write a Request Letter Asking for Permission to Reside in a Country

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If you go to Santiago for a holiday and fall in love with Chile, you may want to write a letter requesting permission to remain in the country to go along with your application for a temporary residence permit. Other reasons could be that war has broken out in your country or you are seeking political asylum. Putting your thoughts on paper as to why you want to live in the country is an opportunity to explain why you want to remain after your visa expires. Taking the time to plan your letter carefully is worth the time and effort, because it will be read by an official who will make a decision that affects your future.

1 Find out the Department

Find out where the Department of Immigration is located and go there to get the name of the official you need to contact.

2 Use the business letter block format style

Use the business letter block format style. All text will start on the left-hand side of the page and there will need to be blank lines between the paragraphs of the business letter. If you have personal letterhead use it. If not, type your address in the left-hand corner at the top of the page.

3 Leave a blank line

Leave a blank line after your address and then enter the date. Then leave another blank line and type in the official's name and mailing address. This is the same name and address that goes on the envelope.

4 Write the salutation

Write the salutation. If you know the name of the person, write it in this form: “Dear Mr. Sanchez,” Notice that the name is followed by a comma. If you weren’t able to find out the official's name, write “To Whom It May Concern:”

5 Be direct

Be direct. Don’t bother with pleasantries, as this is a business letter. Start with “I am writing to request permission to reside in Argentina.” Name the country you wish to reside in where I have used Argentina.

6 Outline the reasons

Outline the reasons you feel that you are eligible to reside in the country. For instance, you could be a freelance journalist working on a project and you need to stay in the country for another six months to complete the assignment.

7 Stick

Stick to the facts and maintain a business-like tone at all times. Avoid going off on tangents and getting distracted. Resist sounding emotional, as it will make your residency request less professional.

8 Summarize your main points in your concluding paragraph

Summarize your main points in your concluding paragraph. Thank the official for his or her time and state that you are looking forward to hearing about a favorable decision.

9 After a day has passed

After a day has passed, review your letter again. Read it aloud to yourself and assess it for a sincere tone. Edit any grammar or typing mistakes.

10 Attach any supporting documents supporting to your letter

Attach any supporting documents to your letter. These documents could be letters from people who support your application, or a copy of an employment offer.

  • Send your letter by registered mail to be sure it arrives.

Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.